|General Leo Cristophe|
|Japanese name||Leo Cristophe|
|Height||6' 2" (188 cm)|
|Weight||183 lbs. (83 kg)|
|Final Fantasy VI Character|
- “I knew you were being used as some sort of biological weapon. And because I didn't do anything about it, I'm no better than Kefka.”
- —Leo to Terra Branford
General Leo Cristophe is a temporary playable character in Final Fantasy VI. He is a noble and honorable man who fights for what he believes in. General Leo is the finest swordsman in the Gestahlian Empire, and one of Emperor Gestahl's most trusted men. He prefers negotiation over combat, in contrast to Kefka Palazzo.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
General Leo wears green armor, and in his concept art wears a lighter green and yellow coat and a high collar. He has short-cut blond hair. Leo's skin color is a topic of debate, as some argue he is black due to his skin being dark in Yoshitaka Amano's artwork and in his menu portrait, as well as having facial features of a dark skinned man, while his sprite is white. His sprite being white-skinned may be due to color palette limitations within the game's code, but this has not been confirmed with Square. In the IOS version, however, the field sprite has darker skin too.
Leo is a strong, upstanding, moral man with a strong sense of compassion and honor. The men of the Empire look up to him as an ideal example of a warrior and are proud to serve him. He is slow to waste human life on both sides of a battle, and is loyal to Emperor Gestahl. These qualities place him at sharp odds with Kefka, who has no regard for life or morality, and is utterly brutal in his tactics. Leo still treats Kefka with respect, but is aware of his behavior and warns him not to act rashly when Leo must leave the Siege of Doma in his hands. The one time he truly gets angry with Kefka is in Thamasa, where he attempts to threaten Kefka (in the GBA version, he tells Kefka he's insane). It is unknown why a man like Leo would serve the Empire in conquering the world, but given he was born in Vector, it is likely out of a sense of duty and honor to his homeland.
General Leo was born in Vector, capital of the Empire. He was raised as a soldier and rose through the ranks. He was highly respected by all in the Empire for his honor and courage, unlike Kefka. He was one of the few soldiers who refused to get a Magitek infusion.
Leo is first seen in a flashback at the beginning of the game, where he is listening to Gestahl giving a speech to his soldiers. When Sabin Rene Figaro and Shadow arrive at the Imperial Camp near Doma Castle, Leo's honorable qualities are brought to light when he tells an Imperial Trooper they must delay their attack to minimize casualties, and advising the trooper he should remember his family and not be so eager to die in battle. Although Sabin and Shadow are hiding and do not meet him, Sabin is impressed with Leo's principles. Kefka Palazzo is also at camp, and though Leo gives him a direct order not to poison Doma, Kefka does so as soon as Leo is called away.
When the Returners are having a banquet with Gestahl in the Imperial Palace, Gestahl asks Leo to accompany Terra Branford and Locke Cole on a mission of goodwill to the espers. On the boat journey, Leo has a heart-to-heart talk with Terra, who is anxious about her humanity and worries she cannot feel love. Leo assures her it's the result of youth rather than her esper nature, and reveals his guilt over his complicity in the Empire's cruel treatment of her. On their arrival, he dispatches Locke, Terra, and Shadow to search for the espers, while he and Celes Chere search on their own.
After Locke and Terra locate the espers, who are led by Yura, they return to Thamasa and meet with Leo. Although the espers and Leo negotiate a truce, Kefka intervenes and incapacitates Leo's soldiers, including Celes, Terra and Locke. Telling Leo this was ordered by Gestahl, Kefka kills the espers and takes their magicite, then orders his bodyguards to burn the village.
Leo attacks and defeats Kefka, but Kefka conjures an image of Gestahl who informs Leo he ordered, the attack and that he and Kefka had manipulated Leo into gathering the espers for them. Kefka reveals that what Leo fought was another illusion, and kills Leo. He taunts Leo by saying that he, Kefka, will tell Gestahl he "had to dispose of a traitor." The Returners lay Leo to rest at a grave in Thamasa.
Besides Celes, Leo is the only Imperial in high command to show a true sense of honor and decency, and many of the Returners hold him in high regard. Sabin remarks "he could be my friend, if he weren't my enemy." When meeting with Cyan Garamonde in Vector, he apologizes for failing to stop Kefka from poisoning the citizens in Doma, Cyan's kingdom. Cyan in turn, when he hears Leo was slain, considers it a waste of a fine soldier. The rest of the Returners show no suspicion or hostility towards him, as evidenced by the respectful burial they give to him.
Leo's stats are good all around. His equipment is set, as he is a temporary character. He equips the Crystal Sword, the Aegis Shield, and the Golden Helmet and Armor. He comes with a Master's Scroll and a Gigas Glove. Leo's special ability is Shock, which deals non-elemental magic damage to all opponents. Gau can access this ability by using the Yojimbo Rage, and its Spell Power is 128, and it cannot be dodged. Due to the Master's Scroll, Leo attacks four times when choosing the Attack command.
When control of Leo is first gained, the game moves him to the back row. If manually moved to the front row, Leo's regular (four-part) attack will do significantly more damage than Shock. When kept in the back row, it is still more powerful, though to a less noticeable degree.
Leo has sprites for spellcasting, though it is impossible to see these sprites without hacking or glitches, as Leo doesn't know and cannot learn magic. Like all guest characters, he cannot equip magicite or earn any Magic AP.
Leo is Latin for "lion." Christophe is the French form of Christopher, a name derived from the Ancient Greek Christóphoros, or "Christ-bearing."
- Although his given Job is General, Leo has many characteristics of a Paladin.
- General Leo was the focus of many rumors during the game's initial release. Much like Aerith Gainsborough after him, many rumors persisted as to how to resurrect Leo in the World of Ruin. There is no method by which he can be resurrected other than modifying the game's code, although by using the Airship Glitch it is possible to use General Leo outside of areas where he was intended to be used in the World of Balance.
- In the Dawn of Souls and subsequent remakes of the original Final Fantasy, Leo is one of the automatic names the player can choose for the Warrior Job.
- The conversation between Leo and Terra has a great influence on her afterwards. In the final part of the game, when the players talks to Terra in the Falcon to switch party members, she says : "General Leo, I think I understand what you were trying to say...".
- During the scene in Thamasa Kefka says that Leo was "always, always, ALWAYS such a Goody Two-Shoes!," a reference to a fairy tale storybook character.